Implementing Math Workshop

1. Organization

We all know it is important.  I’m not going to lie, I first started feeling like my math instruction needed a little lift 3 years before I actually implemented math workshop.  I had no idea where to even begin organizing math workshop.  The unknown…it is scary.  This year I had a co-worker who can me the extra push and confidence it took for me to make the jump.  First things first, you need an area in your room to display a rotation board.  You need to find what works best for you.  If you do not have the wall space for a permeant display, you could also create a poster or a smart board display.  This is what I made for my classroom…

This is what keeps our workshop time running smoothly.  It is a constant reminder to my students where they should be and what they should be doing.  If you think this format would work for you in your classroom, you can get it from my tpt store.

2. Expectations

Introducing classroom expectations is the single most important aspect of successfully implementing ANYTHING in a classroom.  I have found that T-Charts work best in my classroom.  As a class, we go over what the students should be doing and what the teacher is doing.  The process of setting up the expectations takes me approximately a week.  Each day we go over a different aspect and discuss the expectations.  This also creates excitement and anticipation.  If at any time my students are not meeting the expectations, I immediately suspend math workshop and go back to the expectations phase.

3. Planning

I know, this seems like a no-brainer!  In order to be successful you MUST plan out every aspect of your workshop time.   I am lucky enough to have a parent volunteer who works with a group during their problem solving rotation.  The work with the teacher time is used to review, challenge or pre-teach upcoming concepts.  Each group is working at their level and it provides me with the opportunity to have an intense 20 min small group time.

The best advice I could give you is to do what is best for YOUR classroom.  You know your kiddos best, do what is best for them! I hope you LOVE Math Workshop as much as I do!  

Happy Teaching!

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